In the News
Biotech’s brash entrepreneur finally finds drug-development success with overactive bladders
Vivek Ramaswamy, the hedge fund manager turned biotech entrepreneur, has raised billions of dollars to create a constellation of “Vant” companies that license and develop drugs from other firms. Five years and one spectacular Alzheimer’s drug blowup later, Ramaswamy finally notched a late-stage clinical trial win.
It comes courtesy of Urovant, the urology-focused spinout from his Roivant Sciences mothership. On Tuesday, Urovant said its lead pipeline drug, vibregon, achieved all the treatment goals in a Phase 3 clinical trial involving patients with overactive bladder.
With these new overactive bladder data in hand, Urovant intends to file a marketing application for vibregon with the Food and Drug Administration in “early 2020,” the company said.
Until Tuesday, Ramaswamy was best known for his worst failure. His first company, Axovant Sciences, managed a record-breaking initial public offering before crashing in spectacular fashion on the negative clinical trial of an Alzheimer’s disease drug licensed from GlaxoSmithKline.
Achieving his first big drug-development win — and likely first regulatory approval — with a new overactive bladder treatment may seem like a consolation prize for Ramaswamy. But there’s good money to be made in taming the excessive urge to urinate: Myrbetriq, marketed by Astellas, delivered $750 million in sales last year and is still growing.